Template:Featured article/April 2021

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The Ship That Would Not Die

From 1937, the Sino-Japanese conflict put a stranglehold on Yangtze River trade and by the outbreak of the Second World War many river ships were laid up at Shanghai. One of these was the China Navigation Company’s Wuchang, at 3,426 tonnes, one of largest of the company’s lower river steamers. Built by Taikoo Dockyard in 1914, she was a veteran of a quarter century’s service on the Yangtze when she was requisitioned by the Ministry of War Transport and sent down to Singapore, to be used by the RAF as a floating depot for bombs and other armaments.

Painted a virulent orange, as a warning to other ships to keep clear, Wuchang lay rusting in the explosives anchorage at Keppel Harbour - the only reminder of her Yangtze career being her Chinese bo’sun, who had stayed with the ship and kept her in immaculate working order, against the day when she would one day return to China Navigation’s service. Click here for more...